ArticlePDF Available

International Standards for Research Integrity: An Idea Whose Time has Come?



A movement to promulgate international ethics standards covering areas of conduct other than research with human subjects has now begun to gain momentum. This commentary explains why it is important to develop international research integrity standards and some of the problems that must be overcome to bring them to fruition.
Vol. 5, No. 9, September 2009 “Can You Handle the Truth?”
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis
International Standards for Research Integrity:
An Idea Whose Time has Come?
By David Resnik
This article is reprinted from Accountability in Research, 16:4, 218-228
( It may be used for research, teaching
and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution,
reselling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is
expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make
any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The
accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with
primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,
demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly
in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. Full terms and conditions of use
are at
A movement to promulgate international ethics standards covering areas of conduct other
than research with human subjects has now begun to gain momentum. This commentary
explains why it is important to develop international research integrity standards and some
of the problems that must be overcome to bring them to fruition.
Research integrity encompasses a wide range of topics relating to the ethical conduct of
research, including research involving human and animal subjects, research design, data
management, data analysis, data fabrication/falsification, publication, authorship,
plagiarism, peer review, mentoring, science-industry relationships, conflict of interest,
intellectual property, and social responsibility (Steneck, 2007, Shamoo and Resnik, 2009).
Scientific research is truly global in scope, with international collaborations, conferences,
journals, databases and so on. Although science transcends national boundaries, with the
exception of research involving human subjects, there are no definitive international
standards for research integrity.
International standards for the ethical conduct of research with human subjects have been
in place since the adoption of the Nuremberg Code after the end of World War II
(Nuremberg Code, 1949). The Code was adopted by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal to
judge Nazi physicians and scientists accused of war crimes committed against concentration
camp prisoners used in human experiments. Before this time, some investigators, such as
William Osler and Claude Bernard, had written about the ethics of clinical research; some
countries, such as the region of Prussia, had adopted rules for research with human
subjects, and some professional organizations, such as the American Medical Association,
were in the process of developing guidelines, but it took the horrific acts committed by the
Nazis to convince the world community of the need for international standards for research
with human subjects (Shamoo and Resnik, 2009). Other guidelines have been adopted in
the years following the development of the Nuremberg Code. In 1964, the World Medical
Association (WMA) adopted its Helsinki Declaration, and in 1982 the Council for the
International Organization of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) developed its guidelines (WMA,
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis 2
1964; CIOMS, 2002). Both documents have been revised many times since they were first
A movement to promulgate international ethics standards covering areas of conduct other
than research with human subjects has only now begun to gain momentum. From
September 16 to 19, 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and
European Science Foundation (ESF) convened the first global forum on research integrity.
The goal of the conference was to assemble researchers, administrators, sponsors, editors,
policymakers and other people from around the globe to discuss ways of harmonizing
misconduct policies and fostering ethical research (Mayer and Steneck, 2007). The Co-
Chairs of the conference, Tony Mayer and Nicholas Steneck, recommended that ORI and
ESF work with the Global Science Forum (GSF) and the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) in promoting international research cooperation on
research integrity. They recommended that these organizations should work together to
“clarify, harmonize, and publicize standards for best practices and procedures for reporting
improper conduct in research” (Mayer and Steneck, 2007).
Long before the ORI and ESF organized this conference, journal editors from around the
world had collaborated on some ethical standards dealing with research integrity. For
example, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has ethical
standards dealing with authorship, conflict of interest, and protection of human and animal
subjects. Seven hundred journals follow the ICMJE standards (ICMJE, 2008). The
Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), an organization that promotes integrity in peer-
reviewed scientific publications, has ethical standards pertaining to research misconduct,
peer review, authorship, redundant publication, conflict of interest, data analysis, and
protecting human and animal subjects. Over 3,800 journals belong to COPE (COPE, 2009).
A recent, high-profile case involving research misconduct has brought the need for
international research integrity standards into sharp relief. In 2004 and 2005, Seoul
University researcher Woo-Suk Hwang and colleagues published two articles in the journal
Science reporting the derivation of HES cell lines by therapeutic cloning. Hwang received
international recognition for his work and became a national hero. In November 2005,
University of Pittsburgh scientist Gerald Schatten, who collaborated with Hwang on the 2005
article, accused Hwang of misleading members of the research team about the sources of
human oocytes used in the research. Hwang admitted that some of the oocytes came from
women working in his lab, which was not illegal in South Korea, but was ethically
questionable. The women were paid $1400 for their eggs. In December 2005, the editors of
Science received an anonymous tip that two of the photo cell lines in the 2005 article were
duplications. Later, one of Hwang's co-authors, Sung Roh, told the media that Hwang had
fabricated 9 of the 11 cell lines presented in the article. Hwang asked for the article to be
withdrawn from Science, and a committee from Seoul University began investigating the
2005 article and Hwang's other publications.
Hwang resigned his position at Seoul University at the end of December 2005. In May 2006,
Hwang and five collaborators were indicted on charges of fraud, embezzlement ($3 million),
and breach of bioethics laws. Schatten was never accused of fabricating data, but a
committee at his university found that he had shirked his authorship responsibilities and
accepted excessive consulting fees ($40,000) for collaborating with Hwang over an 18-
month period (Resnik, et al. 2006, Saunders and Savulescu, 2008).
International standards for research integrity are important for several reasons. First,
because research is often international in scope, it is necessary to have ethical standards
that transcend national boundaries to resolve disputes that may arise when the parties
come from different countries. For example, suppose that a reviewer from country A
suspects that an article submitted by authors from country B plagiarizes a previously
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis 3
published article from country A. Suppose, also, that government organizations from
country A and country B have different definitions of plagiarism. The authors could argue
that their behavior does not qualify as plagiarism according to their country's rules. It may
be difficult to resolve this issue without appealing to a common definition.
Second, scientists can appeal to international integrity standards in the absence of local
standards. For example, if a developing nation has no regulations pertaining to data
fabrication or falsification, then international standards could be used to evaluate scientific
conduct. The Helsinki Declaration has functioned as a standard of conduct for research with
human subjects in the absence of local laws (Brody, 1998).
Third, well-recognized, clear and coherent international integrity standards can encourage
the development of local standards. Countries that lack local standards for the conduct of
research can use international standards as a model for the development of their own rules
and policies. Some countries have used the Helsinki Declaration as a guide to developing
their own policies, for example (Brody, 1998).
Fourth, international standards for research integrity can foster trust among scientists
working in different countries. Investigators who are planning an international collaboration
appeal to international standards as a benchmark for authorship, publication, data sharing,
and other important concerns. If an ethical dispute arises during the collaboration, the
investigators can appeal to a common benchmark.
Though there is clearly an urgent need for international research integrity standards,
several difficulties must be overcome to bring them to fruition. The first difficulty is to
ensure that the organization(s) sponsoring the standards have sufficient influence to gain
the attention of a large percentage of scientists around the world. The organizations that
developed the Nuremberg Code and the Helsinki Declaration had considerable clout. The
Nuremberg Military Tribunal, convened by the Allied Powers at the end of World War II,
commanded the attention of the entire world as it passed judgment on Nazi war crimes. The
WMA, which was founded in 1947, includes representatives from national medical
associations from 85 countries. The WMA has held annual meetings since its inception in
countries from Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia (WMA, 2009).
Although the ORI, ESF and OECD have some influence and standing, it is not clear whether
these organizations have enough sway to get the attention of a large percentage of
scientists around the world. To succeed in developing research integrity standards with
global impact, the ORI, ESF and OECD may need to partner with some other organizations
that have some influence on scientific ethics, such as the WMA, the United Nations
Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and professional associations,
such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, German Association for
the Advancement of Science and Medicine, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of
Science, and so on. Scientists from all parts of the globe should be involved in developing
the standards.
The formation of an international society for ethics in research could be instrumental in
promoting international standards of research ethics. Currently, there is no such
organization. There are some international organizations, such as the ICMJE, COPE, WMA,
the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH, 2009), and the International
Association of Bioethics (IAB, 2009), that promote ethics in publication and human subjects
research, but there is no organization whose main focus is ethics in all aspects of research.
Another difficulty to overcome is that there are bound to be controversies concerning the
content of the international standards. Consider, for example, the definition of research
misconduct. Different countries have different definitions of research misconduct. The U.S.
federal government defines research misconduct as fabrication, falsification or plagiarism
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis 4
(FFP) (OSTP, 2000). Other countries, however, have definitions of misconduct that include
categories of behavior other than FFP. Norway defines misconduct as FFP as well as other
serious breaches of good scientific practice (Norwegian National Committee for Research
Ethics in Science and Technology, 2006). Finland distinguishes between fraud, which is
defined as FFP, and research misconduct, which is defined as gross negligence and
irresponsibility in the conduct of research (Finland, National Advisory Board on Research
Ethics, 2002). China's Ministry of Science and Technology has adopted a definition of
research misconduct that includes FFP as well as submitting false résumés and serious
violations of rules protecting human or animal research subjects (Chong, 2006). Australia's
definition of research misconduct includes FFP as well as failure to declare a serious conflict
of interest, serious violations of rules pertaining to research with human or animal research
subjects, and concealment of others' misconduct (Australian Research Council, 2007).
The most vexing issue in drafting an international definition of research misconduct may be
deciding whether the definition should include behaviors other than FFP (often referred to as
“fraud”), such as serious violations of rules protecting human or animal research subjects,
or serious departures from good scientific practice. For over a decade, policymakers in the
U.S. debated about the federal definition of research misconduct. In 1987, the Public Health
Service (PHS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) defined misconduct as FFP as well
as other practices that deviate seriously from those commonly accepted in the scientific
community. The “other practices” category proved to be very controversial because it was
too general and vague. Two separate committees tried to resolve this controversy. Finally,
the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) proposed a narrower definition (i.e.,
misconduct = FFP), which has been adopted by various federal agencies, including the PHS
and NSF (Resnik, 2003). A debate similar to one that took place within the U.S. federal
government could be repeated at the international level if there is substantial support for
including behaviors other than FFP in the definition of misconduct.
Controversies may also arise concerning financial conflict of interest (COI) standards.
Although most researchers and policymakers agree on the importance of disclosing financial
interests, there is less agreement concerning whether to require anything beyond
disclosure, such as conflict management or prohibition, in some situations. In the U.S.,
funding agencies only require grant recipients to disclose financial interests; they do not
prohibit any types of financial interests. U.S. funding agencies also do not have any policies
concerning institutional COIs (Shamoo and Resnik, 2009). There is considerable variation
among university COI policies in the U.S. Though most universities require disclosure of
financial interests, few actually prohibit any types of financial relationships (McCrary et al.,
2000). Most medical schools have COI policies that pertain to institutional officials, but few
have policies that address financial interests held by the institution (Eringhaus et al., 2008).
In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural program has some of
strongest COI rules of any research organization. The NIH prohibits intramural investigators
from consulting with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and places limits on
stock ownership (NIH, 2008).
There is also likely to be some disagreement about whether international research integrity
standards should address the topic of social responsibility, i.e., promoting good
consequences for society and avoiding harmful ones. Some of the most important ethical
questions in scientific research, such as becoming involved in research related to national
defense or advocating for political causes, have to do with social responsibility (Shamoo and
Resnik, 2009). Many professional organizations, such as the American Anthropological
Association (1998), American Chemical Society (2007), American Physical Society (2002),
and American Society of Microbiology (2005), have codes of ethics that discuss the social
responsibilities of researchers. Several prominent books on research ethics also discuss the
social responsibilities of scientists (Shrader-Frechette, 1994; Resnik, 1998; Whitbeck,
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis 5
1998). However, the ethics standards promulgated by U.S. funding agencies do not mention
social responsibilities (Shamoo and Resnik, 2009). The guidelines developed by COPE
(2009) and ICMJE (2008) also do not mention social responsibility. The Office of Research
Integrity (ORI), which is responsible for promoting ethical standards in NIH-supported
research, has designated nine core areas for research ethics education, none of which
include social responsibility (ORI, 2006). ORI's Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of
Research, written by Nicholas Steneck, covers ORI's nine core areas but has no discussion
of social responsibility (Steneck, 2007).
One reason there may be some controversy about including social responsibility in
international research integrity standards is that honoring this ethical obligation often
requires researchers to reach beyond the familiar territory of the laboratory or research
group and apply their expertise to contentious social or political issues, such as
environmental protection, global warming, overpopulation, nuclear weapons, food and drug
safety, gun control, and so on. Some famous scientists who have taken their responsibilities
seriously have become embroiled in social and political controversy. For example, Rachel
Carson (1962) alerted the world to the dangers of pesticides, especially DDT, and helped to
launch the modern environmental movement when she published Silent Spring in 1962.
Although many people now regard Carson as the paragon of a socially responsible scientist,
at the time her book was published she was attacked by the chemical industry and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture and derided as a hysterical kook (Lear, 2009). Representatives
from diverse nations may decide to not articulate ethical standards related to social
responsibility, to prevent their deliberations from becoming bogged down in controversies
unrelated to the everyday conduct of science.
Once the sponsoring organizations reach some agreement on international research
integrity standards, the remaining problem is how to publicize and promote them. There is
little point in having an international research integrity code in name only: a code should be
a living document that influences the practice of science. The Nuremberg Code and Helsinki
Declaration, for example, have had considerable influence over the conduct of research with
human subjects. These two codes figure prominently in educational materials and scholarly
works on research with human subjects, government reports, journal policies, and even
legal opinions (Shamoo and Resnik, 2009; Brody, 1998; National Bioethics Advisory
Commission, 2001; Resnik, 2004; ICMJE, 2008). To ensure that an international code of
research integrity standards has significant influence, the groups promulgating the code
should consider partnering with scientific and professional organizations in various
countries, government agencies, journals, universities and others with an interest in
research integrity. Ideally, a partnership with organizations in different countries should be
formed before the ethical standards are adopted, so that instruments necessary for
publicizing and promoting the standard would already be in place.
The development of international standards of research integrity is clearly an idea whose
time has come. In fact, international standards of research integrity are long overdue.
Hopefully, some of the practical difficulties with advancing these standards will be overcome
soon, so that scientists will have guidelines for international research.
This research was sponsored by the intramural program of the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). It does not
represent the views of the NIEHS, NIH or U.S. government.
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis 6
American Anthropological Association. (1998). Code of Ethics. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2009.
American Chemical Society. (2007). The Chemical Professional’s Code of Conduct. Available
513e-adc1-4275-b03e-466ba2a8c1f9. Accessed March 19, 2009.
American Physical Society. (2002). Guidelines for Professional Conduct. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2009.
American Society of Microbiology. (2005). Code of Ethics. Available at:
.pdf. Accessed March 19, 2009.
Australian Research Council. (2007). Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of
Research. Available at:
Accessed March 18, 2009.
Brody, B. (1998). The Ethics of Biomedical Research: An International Perspective. New
York: Oxford University Press.
Carson, R. (1962). Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Chong, W. (2006). China sets up rules to combat misconduct. SciDev Net (November 10,
2006). Available at:
scientific-misconduc.html. Accessed November 8, 2008.
CIOMS. (2002). International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human
Subjects. Available at Accessed
March 15, 2009.
COPE. (2009). About COPE. Available at: Accessed
March 15, 2009.
Ehringhaus, S., Weissman, J., Sears, J., Goold, S., Feibelmann, S., and Campbell, E.
(2008). Responses of medical schools to institutional conflicts of interest. JAMA 299: 665–
Finland, National Advisory Board on Research Ethics 2002. Good Scientific Practice and
Procedures for Handling Fraud and Misconduct in Science. Available at: Accessed March 17, 2009.
IAB. (2009). International Association of Bioethics: Home. Available at: http://bioethics- Accessed April 21, 2009.
ICH. (2009). International Conference on Harmonization: Welcome. Available at: Accessed April 21, 2009.
ICMJE. (2008). Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.
Available at: Accessed March 15, 2009.
Lear, L. (2009). Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. New York: Mariner Books.
Mayer, T., and Steneck, N. (2007). Final Report to ESF and ORI. First World Conference on
Research Integrity: Fostering Responsible Research. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2009.
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis 7
McCrary, S., Anderson, C., Jakovljevic, J., Khan, T., McCullough, L., Wray, N., and Brody B.
(2000). A national survey of policies on disclosure of conflicts of interest in biomedical
research. N Engl J Med 343: 1621–1626.
National Bioethics Advisory Commission. (2001). Ethical and Policy Issues in International
Research: Clinical Trials in Developing Countries. Available at: Accessed March 26, 2009.
NIH. (2008). Summary of NIH-Specific Amendments to Conflict of Interest Ethics
Regulations. Available at: Accessed March
19, 2009.
Norwegian National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology. (2006).
Ethics and Integrity in Research. Available at:
Accessed March 17, 2009.
Nuremberg Code. (1949). Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg
Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10, Vol. 2, pp. 181-182. Washington, D.C.:
U.S. Government Printing Office. Available at: Accessed March 14, 2009.
ORI. (2006). Responsible Conduct of Research. Available at:
Accessed March 19, 2009.
Office of Science and Technology Policy. (2000). Federal Research Misconduct Policy.
Federal Register, 65, 235: 76260–76264.
Resnik, D. (1998). The Ethics of Research. New York: Routledge.
Resnik, D. (2003). From Baltimore to Bell Labs: Reflections on two decades of debate about
scientific misconduct. Accountability in Research, 10: 123–135.
Resnik, D. (2004). Liability for institutional review boards: From regulation to litigation. The
Journal of Legal Medicine, 25: 131–184. 228 D. B. Resnik
Resnik, D., Shamoo, A., and Krimsky, S. (2006). Fraudulent human embryonic stem cell
research in South Korea: Lesson learned. Accountability in Research, 13: 101–109.
Saunders, R., and Savulescu, J. (2008). Research ethics and lessons from Hwanggate: What
can we learn from the Korean cloning fraud? Journal of Medical Ethics, 34: 214–221.
Shamoo, A., and Resnik, D. (2009). Responsible Conduct of Research. 2nd ed. New York:
Oxford University Press.
Shrader-Frechette, K. (1994). Ethics of Scientific Research. Lanham, MD: Rowman and
Steneck, N. (2007). ORI Introduction to the Responsible Conduct of Research. Washington,
Whitbeck, C. (1998). Ethics in Engineering Practice and Research. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
WMA. (2008). Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving
Human Subjects. Available at: Accessed March 14,
WMA. (2009). About the WMA. Available at:
Accessed March 17, 2009.
Subscribe free at
© 2009 Taylor and Francis 8
Address correspondence to Robin Pierce, J.D., Ph.D., Novel Tech Ethics, Dalhousie
University, 1234 LeMerchant Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3P7, Canada. E-mail:
... In standard technology assessment, policy analysis and social research on agricultural innovation and food politics have concentrated their attention on two social justice issues: access to the fruits of innovation and the means of food production, and the availability of technological solutions for those with the greatest hunger and malnutrition burden (De Schutter 2009b). In the last two decades, we have observed the emergence of social justice arguments in relation to scientific malpractice and biopiracy, calling for informed consent and fair access and benefit-sharing procedures (De Jonge 2009, Wynberg, Schroeder, andChennells 2009), and measures to limit the fabrication and falsification of data (Resnik 2009). In this book, I will claim that this analysis is too narrow, as it only focuses on issues of justice in exchange and distributive justice, with some aspects of procedural justice, and that in order to develop truly socially and environmentally sustainable agricultural policies, a wider normative framework is needed. ...
... Another philosophical area that contributes to science and technology assessment is ethics, in particular the perspectives that are strongly influenced by biomedical ethics. Contributions that fall into the broader area of scientific integrity and research ethics are especially concerned with issues of scientific malpractice, such as failures to obtain informed consent, deceit, plagiarism, and data fabrication and falsification , Resnik 2009). This analysis relies on principles with a strong tradition in bioethics that innovators should adopt, such as assuming responsibility, being cautious, respecting people's autonomy and sharing the benefits of research (Linares Salgado 2013, Lolas 2006. ...
... An element that continues to be of major concern comprises conflicts of interests. Many jurisdictions have regulations to disclose financial conflicts of interests, but there is no international consensus on how to handle other types of conflict of interest (Resnik 2009). Here we may consider specifying potential biases, for example due to collegial, mentor-tutor, institutional or personal relationships that may affect the authors' judgements. ...
Employing a social justice framework, this book examines the effects of innovation incentives and policies in agriculture. It addresses access to the objects of innovation, the direction of science and the type of innovations that are available, opportunities to participate in research and development, as well as effects on future generations. The book examines the potential value of preventive and reconciliatory measures, drawing on concepts from procedural and restorative justice. As such it offers a comprehensive analysis of the main social justice dimensions affected by agricultural innovation. It gives academics and policy analysts an extensive overview of the deep impact of innovation on society and the environment, and the expectations the general public has from the scientific community.
... They are also concerned that institutions lack adequate mechanisms to reduce scientific misconduct. International standards/rules must be followed in the campaign against research misconduct (see Resnik 2009), and all necessary policies and processes, including checks and balances, must be adopted. Transparent research procedures, such as those advocated by the Office of Research Integrity (n.d.), can be used to improve research processes and deal with ethical challenges and research misconduct. ...
Despite ample evidence of increasing research misconduct in India, little attention has been paid to understanding researchers' perception of research integrity and research misconduct among young Indian researchers. Interviews among 30 research scholars were conducted at Pondicherry University in India to understand their experience and perception of research misconduct. The top three influencing factors for scientific misconduct, according to the participants, were unavailability of adequate funds (35%), pressure from research supervisors (29%), and desperation to publish articles (25%). The participants had witnessed research misconduct in different forms i.e., data fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. However, plagiarism was the most often cited cause of misbehavior in our interviews. Majority of participants have witnessed or personally encountered multiple instances where authorship conflicts occurred. The other questionable research practices highlighted in the study were improper citations, authorship disputes like gift and ghost authorships, misrepresentation of statistical data, failure to publish negative results. In an increasingly diverse and changing research environment, our research calls for practical research guidelines based on honesty, openness, and accountability that can help articulate and strengthen scientists' core values. More importantly, scientific misconduct can only be prevented by using a multifaceted strategy that includes identifying instances of scientific misconduct and implementing suitable deterrents and treatments that could change the behavior associated with such misconduct.
... This is evident from the prevailing RI problems that impede RI promotion and implementation -lack of clear and consistent RI policies and guidance documents in different organizations, as well as their diversity, lack of RI bodies and guidance on how to handle RI issues, existence of pernicious success-related incentives and excessive competition that create irresponsible research climate and may lead to research misconduct (Haven et al. 2020;Olesen et al. 2020;Aubert Bonn and Pinxten 2021a;2021b). The step toward organizational improvement in RI should include developing and implementing clear RI standards, guidance documents and practices, and comprehensive RI plans (Resnik 2009;Degn 2020;Mejlgaard et al. 2020). Although different types of RI guidance documents, such as codes of conduct, guidelines, checklists, or standard operating procedures (SOPs) addressing different RI processes and topics exist ([author(s)]), available research shows there is a strong heterogeneity in how both international and national RI guidance documents approach to RI, define research misconduct, as well as how they address different RI issues (Godecharle, Nemery, and Diericx 2014;Aubert Bonn, Godecharle, and Dierickx 2017). ...
Full-text available
Research integrity (RI) guidance documents often lack sufficient details on handling specific RI issues causing the lack of harmonized approaches to RI and opening the way to research misconduct and other detrimental research practices. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are developed and implemented by organizations for ensuring the uniformity and quality of performed actions. This study aimed to explore stakeholders' opinions on SOPs for RI, factors influencing the implementation of RI guidance documents and practices, and ideas for improvements in the RI field. We conducted semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from different groups. Data were analyzed using the reflexive thematic analysis approach, and three themes were developed. The first theme addressed participants' knowledge and perceptions on SOPs for RI and their impact on RI promotion and implementation. The second theme described different factors that have a positive or negative impact on the implementation of RI and RI guidance documents and practices, while the third theme addressed needed changes and ideas for improvements in the RI field. Participants considered SOPs valuable for RI promotion. SOPs should be developed based on and consistent with more general and aspirational guidance and through the dialogue with researchers and other stakeholders, to ensure their relevancy.
... The RI-related content provided by the LERU universities during their training sessions is focusing on providing knowledge related to RI and research misconduct without focusing on any aspect related to the researchers' character [24,25]. Receiving RI-related knowledge seems to be no longer enough to promote a culture change within the scientific community and make scientists aware of their social responsibility [26,27]. In addition, promoting RI-related awareness, professional virtues and the development of ethical behaviour has been highlighted by (inter)national codes of conduct and many RI experts [8,9,14,[28][29][30]. ...
Full-text available
Background Even though research integrity (RI) training programs have been developed in the last decades, it is argued that current training practices are not always able to increase RI-related awareness within the scientific community. Defining and understanding the capacities and lacunas of existing RI training are becoming extremely important for developing up-to-date educational practices to tackle present-day challenges. Recommendations on how to implement RI education have been primarily made by selected people with specific RI-related expertise. Those recommendations were developed mainly without consulting a broader audience with no specific RI expertise. Moreover, the academic literature lacks qualitative studies on RI training practices. For these reasons, performing in-depth focus groups with non-RI expert stakeholders are of a primary necessity to understand and outline how RI education should be implemented. Methods In this qualitative analysis, different focus groups were conducted to examine stakeholders’ perspectives on RI training practices. Five stakeholders' groups, namely publishers and peer reviewers, researchers on RI, RI trainers, PhDs and postdoctoral researchers, and research administrators working within academia, have been identified to have a broader overview of state of the art. Results A total of 39 participants participated in five focus group sessions. Eight training-related themes were highlighted during the focus group discussions. The training goals, timing and frequency, customisation, format and teaching approach, mentoring, compulsoriness, certification and evaluation, and RI-related responsibilities were discussed. Although confirming what was already proposed by research integrity experts in terms of timing, frequency, duration, and target audience in organising RI education, participants proposed other possible implementations strategies concerning the teaching approach, researchers' obligations, and development an evaluation-certification system. Conclusions This research aims to be a starting point for a better understanding of necessary, definitive, and consistent ways of structuring RI education. The research gives an overview of what has to be considered needed in planning RI training sessions regarding objectives, organisation, and teaching approach.
... Among research ethicists, this is a broadly familiar argument, not only in stories about the origins and development of the field, but also in advocacy for better regulation, codification, or cooperation. It is not uncommon, for instance, to find authors bolstering their case for codification or implementation of research integrity standards with examples like Woo-Suk Hwang, the fraudulent South Korean stem cell researcher (Resnik 2009;Bouter 2020). Likewise, the Inter Academy Partnership cites the 'emergence of high-profile cases' like Hwang's as clear evidence of a need for global codification of ethical standards (Inter Academies 2012). ...
Full-text available
In the past two decades, individual explanations of scientific misconduct (‘bad apples’) have increasingly given way to systemic explanations (‘bad systems’). Where did this interest in systemic factors (publication pressure, competition for research funding) come from? Given that research ethicists often present their interventions as responses to scientific misconduct, this article tests the hypothesis that these systemic explanations were triggered by high-visibility cases of scientific norm violation. It does so by examining why Dutch scientists in 2011 explained Diederik Stapel’s grand-scale data fabrication largely in systemic terms, whereas only fifteen years earlier, in the René Diekstra affair (1996), such explanations had been close to absent. Drawing on a wealth of historical sources, the article suggests that cases like Stapel’s as such do not explain why early 21st-century commentators exchanged individual explanations for systemic ones. Only against the background of an existing discourse of criticism of the science system, developed in the 1990s and 2000s in response to rapidly increasing competition for research funding, could the Stapel affair achieve notoriety as an example of how systemic factors provoke bad conduct.
... This research considered various ethical standards that were required while carrying out research. Shamoo and Resnik (2009) asserted that there was need to abide by the expected ethical standards while conducting research even when the research was being conducted by government agencies, professional bodies, or universities which have all embraced certain rules, codes, and policies that relate to research ethics. This research observed expected the ethical guidelines. ...
The study analyzed impact of class size on teaching methods in public secondary schools in Musanze District. The number of students in classroom in school system has increased leading to overpopulation in many secondary schools of Rwanda. The issue of congested classroom is that the teacher is very much overloaded and it is difficult for teachers to manage a class and execute all necessary tasks including giving tests, home works, and making examination scripts. The general objective of the study was to find out the impact of large class size on teaching methods in schools specifically public secondary schools in Rwanda taking Musanze district as a case study. The specific objective of this study were: to examine the teaching methods adopted by teachers due to large class size in schools in Musanze District, to identify the challenges caused by large number of students in classroom in public secondary schools in Musanze District, and to assess the relationship between large class size and teaching methods adopted in public secondary schools in Musanze District. The current study used descriptive and correlation research designs. The target population of the study was 864 teachers and deans of students. The sample size of 273 was determined using Slovin’s formula. Purposive, stratified, and simple random sampling were used to select study participants. A survey questionnaire was the primary data collection instrument. Quantitative data was analyzed by use of SPSS and presented in form of percentages, form of frequencies, descriptive statistics, correlation, and regression analysis in the form graphs, tables, and pie-charts. The first research objective was to examine the impact of class size on teaching methods adopted by teachers due to large class size in schools in Musanze District. The findings deduced that teachers were effectively using group work, lecturing, and demonstration teaching methods to manage large class sizes. The findings also confirmed the significant implications that large class sizes posed to learners as their participation was limited, more so when applying experiments as the main teaching methods. The use of role-play among the teachers was not as effective as their responses were neutral. The second research objective was to identify the challenges caused by large number of students in classroom in public secondary schools in Musanze District. The findings deduced that teachers were challenged by large classroom sizes due to noise levels and distractive behaviors that made classroom management hard and hence posed a negative impact to the learning process. The third research objective was to assess the relationship between large class size and teaching methods adopted in public secondary schools in Musanze District. Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to assess the relationships between the study variables. Findings deduced that there were negative correlations between noise level and group work; lecturing; and demonstration. There were negative correlations between management challenges and group work; lecturing; and demonstration. There were negative correlations between distractive behaviors and group work; lecturing; and demonstration. All the correlations were statistically significant. The study recommended the following; regarding to the findings of the studies, the researcher recommended that the respective school heads should conduct on-hands training workshops with the aim of equipping teachers with knowledge and skills on how to adopt student-centered learning techniques. Education representatives in Musanze District should in consultation with the DOS of schools and relevant stakeholders propose measures that could be used to manage large class sizes. This could be for instance setting the maximum number of students in a class and clearly indicating the student to teacher ratio. Teachers should periodically evaluate their teaching methods and strive to make improvements where necessary. Future studies should also evaluate the implications of teaching methods on the performance of student.
... The penalties for scientific misconduct cover a wide range, and differences are seen at the international level. [75][76][77][78] International standards for research integrity are proposed, [79] and policies and initiatives addressing research misconduct have been prepared. [80] The penalty depends on whether the one involved is a student (undergraduate or postgraduate), a researcher or a laboratory technician, or a faculty or a staff member [ Table 6]. ...
Full-text available
The phrase “publish or perish” has been used in an academic context since the early 1970s to emphasize the importance of publishing the findings of research. It has also been widely used to describe the pressure in academic institutions to rapidly and continually publish academic work. The pressure to publish, the lack of knowledge about publication ethics, and other factors have led occasional authors to indulge in practices that are outside of the realm of the ethical principles. This article highlights the ethics of writing and publishing, outlines the various unethical practices (misconduct) that must be avoided, and highlights the severe consequences that may be inflicted on an author, whether a junior or a senior one, following detection of misconducts in publishing. The title of this article is a modified form of the maxim “publish or perish” because it is an important responsibility that every author publishes ethically.
Conceptions of procedural justice have great potential to help improve the design of processes and guidelines meant to improve social and environmental outcomes in agricultural innovation. In this chapter I introduce the general principles of procedural justice applied to agricultural innovation and discuss some of the specific procedures concerning good scientific practice and the incorporation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge. Informed consent and inclusive decision-making procedures are defended as the central demands of procedural justice.
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the different philosophical approaches to assessing technologies. It starts by discussing today’s great challenges for providing food in a socially and environmentally sound manner. It continues with a brief overview of the different schools of post-World War II technology assessment. After that, it introduces the six-dimensional social justice framework used in this book and provides definitions of the main concepts.
Full-text available
This essay proposes a new definition of scientific "misconduct," which is broader than the definition recently adopted by the U.S. government. According to the proposed definition, misconduct is a serious and intentional violation of accepted scientific practices, commonsense ethical norms, or research regulations in proposing, designing, conducting, reviewing, or reporting research. Punishable misconduct includes fabrication of data or experiments, falsification of data, plagiarism, or interference with a misconduct investigation. Misconduct does not include honest errors, differences of opinion, or ethically questionable research practices.
Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission regarding International research subject to U.S. regulations. This National Bioethics Advisory Commission report discusses the ethical issues associated with International research in developing countries subject to U.S. regulations.
Conflicts of interest pose a threat to the integrity of scientific research. The current regulations of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Science Foundation require that medical schools and other research institutions report the existence of conflicts of interest to the funding agency but allow the institutions to manage conflicts internally. The regulations do not specify how to do so. We surveyed all medical schools (127) and other research institutions (170) that received more than $5 million in total grants annually from the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation; 48 journals in basic science and clinical medicine; and 17 federal agencies in order to analyze their policies on conflicts of interest. Of the 297 institutions, 250 (84 percent) responded by March 2000, as did 47 of the 48 journals and 16 of the 17 federal agencies. Fifteen of the 250 institutions (6 percent)--5 medical schools and 10 other research institutions--reported that they had no policy on conflicts of interest. Among the institutions that had policies, there was marked variation in the definition and management of conflicts. Ninety-one percent had policies that adhered to the federal threshold for disclosure ($10,000 in annual income or equity in a relevant company or 5 percent ownership), and 9 percent had policies that exceeded the federal guidelines. Only 8 percent had policies requiring disclosure to funding agencies, only 7 percent had such policies regarding journals, and only 1 percent had policies requiring the disclosure of information to the relevant institutional review boards or to research subjects. Twenty journals (43 percent) reported that they had policies requiring disclosure of conflicts of interest. Only four federal agencies had policies that explicitly addressed conflicts of interest in extramural research, and all but one of the agencies relied primarily on institutional discretion. There is substantial variation among policies on conflicts of interest at medical schools and other research institutions. This variation, combined with the fact that many scientific journals and funding agencies do not require disclosure of conflicts of interest, suggests that the current standards may not be adequate to maintain a high level of scientific integrity.